Video Breakdown LB Shaine Hailey
SENIOR YEAR STATS: 94 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, 4 interceptions.
COMMITTED TO SMU OVER: Air Force, Northern Colorado and Holy Cross
SIDE NOTE: Hailey plays 6 different instruments
AUDIBLE: “I picked SMU over other schools because the growing atmosphere is something I want to be a part of, and coach Morris and his staff have done a great job preparing me for signing day, keeping up with me and giving me a great feeling about signing with them.”
How Hailey fits
Although SMU’s defense took a big step forward last season, one of the areas they still didn’t see much progress at was linebacker. In Hailey, SMU is getting a playmaking linebacker both in the passing game and running game. While he still needs to get a little stronger, the 6-0, 200-pound linebacker shows good instincts in the passing game sinking back into coverage. On multiple occasions last season, he was able to jump a couple routes and return them for scores. In the running game, Hailey is a sure tackler that tackles low most of the time.
What Hailey brings
Hailey is potentially a three-down linebacker for SMU because of his ability to play both the pass and the run. Hailey is an instinctive player who should be able to provide this linebacker group the playmaking ability it has missed in past years. The Bishop Dunne linebacker also showed the ability to rush the passer, something SMU has also not gotten enough production from its linebackers in past seasons.
Expectations for freshman year
With SMU’s lack of depth at the linebacker position, expect Hailey to get a real chance to contribute next season, even if it is on special teams to start. With SMU looking to improve on special teams, an athletic linebacker like Hailey might be just what they need. As long as he can pick up the defense and get used to the speed of the game, playing time for Hailey should pick up before long.
Career expectations for Hailey
SMU fans should be excited about what Hailey brings to the table. Given he committed so early and was solid to SMU from that point on, he didn’t pick up the bigger offers he likely would have. As Hailey continues to get stronger, something that is a focus for him right now, his versatility and ability to play multiple downs should improve. In a defense that thrives on turnvoers, Hailey’s ability to read a quarterback’s eyes in coverage and break on balls makes him a perfect fit down the road. SMU got a good one in Hailey.